By Tony Attwood
The story is circulating that Manchester City have refused to reply to Uefa in relation to FFP allegations, on the basis that the multiple claims against them in relation to breaches of FFP regulations came from hacked or stolen emails, and therefore they don’t have to answer.
This approach, that stolen evidence cannot be used in court, is one that applies in many jurisdictions, and although it has resulted in many people who might appear to be guilty, getting off, it is still often the basis for the law. There have been many other leaks in Abu Dhabi of a similar nature, and the government there has always refused to comment.
However what Uefa can do via its financial control body (CFCB) is launch an enquiry of its own. I don’t think they have to declare any particular reason for doing this – but if they do, they could obviously do it across a number of clubs of which City is one – in order to verify where money has come from.
Interestingly Manchester City have never denied that the emails are genuine – only stating that they were obtained illegally and therefore not subject to scrutiny.
But the French League is maintaining pressure on Uefa to push for a full investigation. And there are other options if the impasse continues.
One such is to change the rules so that clubs have to show in much more detail where money comes from, and second for there to be a much tighter control on clubs sponsorship, forcing them to show that the money paid is genuinely paid at a commercial rate for commercial gain by the sponsoring companies.
Meanwhile at Arsenal the stories continue to swirl that Mislintat is on the way out, that Danny Welbeck will be leaving at the end of the season, that Denis Suarez has agreed to come to Arsenal at least on loan, and that come next summer the financial gates will be opened up and money will come pouring in, so that the club can be able to buy AS Roma’s Under who is rated at £44.2m-rated.
Furthermore, Mdhi Benatia of Juventus is being offered in part exchange for Ramsey – according to our old friend reports.
Now what links the Manchester City story with Arsenal is a matter of clarity – or lack of it. Concerning how much money Arsenal have to play with – if any, and the source of the money coming into the club, there is some talk of clubs having to be more transparent.
I rather suspect everyone is going to reject such talk, and instead much of the hiding behind legal niceties will continue as before.
Finally Freddie Ljunberg has been talking up Bukayo Saka, the 17 year old playing with the under 23s. He said, “What is good with him is everybody listens but he takes in information. For instance a lot of wingers will run up when you press instead of going in another direction, killing an angle so you can go again and have a better chance to intercept the ball because you have the full-back where you want him.
“Stuff like that is really difficult but he’s learning really quickly. It amazes me as a coach. Bukayo is very, very good. I said it from the beginning of the season. I had him when he was 15 and I have him again, which is a pleasure.
“He’s a kid that’s humble, he works really hard every day in training, sometimes with the first team and sometimes with us. He just needs to keep on working. His time will come.”